Loving and ever-present God,
we come before you this week bringing all that we are
seeking your presence, your love, your wisdom, and your grace.
We do not have to look far to see the brokenness and pain in the world, from health struggles to concerns about our finances, many of us bring fears and carry deep worry to you, Redeeming One.
Though we have our own problems, we intentionally lift our eyes to the world to see where our siblings are suffering and our beautiful planet is in need of restoration.
We bring before you the May 14th mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in Kingsley, an eastern neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, United States. We mourn for the families of the ten people, many elders who were killed, and three others injured while shopping; eleven of the victims were African-American. We mourn that gun laws allow for purchase of assault rifles. We mourn that conspiracy and lies are fostered. We acknowledge the blatant racism and crimes of hate that descend on our people. Comfort us. Awaken us. O, Lord we ask for your mercy in these times.
We ask for your steadfastness and strength in:
- the alarming 40-year high inflation rate in the United Kingdom
- the concerns of an outbreak of wild polio in Mozambique after a young child was diagnosed with the disease in the country’s north-eastern Tete province.
- the shortage of infant formula in the United States brought on in part by faulty production methods resulting in contamination and infant deaths. The supply chain upset by Covid another reminder of our infinite connections over time and place.
- the damage to property and loss of life as Uruguay has been hit by the strong winds and high waves of a subtropical cyclone.
- the people of Iraq who are suffering under the eighth sandstorm to engulf the country since mid-April. We pray for the countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Bahrain who are suffering these intense and more frequent storms possibly the result of overgrazing and deforestation.
- and the sufferings of the pandemic, wars, famine and impoverishment around our world.
We trust, Holy God, that your spirit of peace and hope is mightily at work in our lives, in these circumstances and events.
We also have faith that you are at work bringing wholeness and healing, God of New Beginnings, as we see signs of joy and celebration in the new relationships in our lives, and new opportunities on the horizon.
We are joyous for the generosity of an anonymous donor who paid off approximately $300,000 of college debt for the entire Wiley College graduating class an historically black college in Texas, United States – the school’s motto is: “Go forth inspired.”
We are strengthened in spirit by the diligence of field teams with the International Rhino Foundation who report a significant increase in the population, now 4,014 individuals, of the greater one-horned rhino which numbered only 100 individuals 50 years ago. India, Nepal, Indonesia (Java and Sumatra), Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, eSwatini, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia steward habitat where these endangered animals roam. We call upon China and Vietnam as they continue to fuel the poaching.
We are delighted for the surveillance by park rangers and their sighting of a rare white buffalo in the Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
We are lifted up by stories and news where life, hope and joy are abundant.
Heighten our awareness Lord of All, so we might celebrate with those who rejoice, even as we mourn with those who grieve. Guide us, we pray, as we work to co-create your beloved community on earth as it is in heaven.